Top Bootstrap Alternatives to look for

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

In this day and age, when everything is available online, most people have smartphones that can provide them with any information they require. When designing a website, the website owners are looking for one thing: to make the website run correctly on all devices with no errors or issues.

For a long time, Bootstrap was the unrivalled champion of providing a framework that allows the frontend of websites to adapt to screen size. There is no doubt that Bootstrap is still excellent at what it does, but other frameworks are equally capable of providing all of the tools you need to create an amazing website framework. Furthermore, some of them outperform Bootstrap in a variety of ways.

So today, we will learn about different Bootstrap alternatives that you can use along with their benefits and things you need to take care of. In addition to this, we will take you on a short trip to learn what Bootstrap is and what it does. Along with this, we will show you some of the limitations of Bootstrap, which can halt your development.

What Is Bootstrap?

We have heard all sorts of praise for Bootstrap, but it might seem a little daunting for a young developer to know what Bootstrap is and why it is used. The Bootstrap web development kit was developed by two Twitter employees, Mark Otto and Jacob Thorton. Bootstrap is nothing but a giant collection of handy, reusable bits of code that are present in HTML, CSS, and even in the JavaScript programming language.

In addition to this, Bootstrap is also a front-end development framework that allows designers and web developers to quickly create responsive websites. So what this means is that Bootstrap helps you escape from writing lots of CSS code and gives you more time to focus on finding the perfect design for your webpage. Moreover, it is entirely free to use, so there is no need to worry about paying loads of money to get used to those frameworks in your project.

History of Bootstrap

As we said earlier, Bootstrap was released by employees of Twitter, namely Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton. The whole project was released on GitHub with its source code to make it a complete open-source framework on August 11. After that, in January 2012, the 2nd version of Bootstrap was released, which is Bootstrap 2, which has the built-in support of Glyphicons along with the other new components. There were some changes to the existing components to make the framework more suitable for web development.

Bootstrap 2 also comes with the support of a responsive web layout, meaning the layout of any website that uses it will dynamically adjust itself according to the device’s display size. Then came the third version, Bootstrap 3, which was released in 2013. It has more updated components that use flat design and a mobile-first approach.

The current version that most developers are using is Bootstrap 4, which was released in 2014. Its alpha version was released in 2015. Then came the beta version on August 10, 2017. Then Mark spent a lot of time refining Bootstrap 4, and thus, on January 8, 2018, Bootstrap 4 was finalised as the main framework.

There is a new version that isn’t common to use, and Bootstrap 5 is the version released in 2020. It is considered to be an experimental version of the package, which was created using Material Design.

Benefits of using Bootstrap

One of the primary reasons for using Bootstrap is its user-friendly design.Given below is the list of advantages that you will enjoy once you implement Bootstrap in your projects.

1. Responsive Grid

Bootstrap comes with its own predefined grid system. As a result, you don’t need to worry about constructing your own in the first place. Moreover, you can use the grid to fill the container with your content. Likewise, Bootstrap also comes with the ability to define custom breakpoints for individual columns and determine how big they want to be, or they can be made simple to increase the grid load at a much faster speed.

2. Image Resize

Every single website you visit right now has some form of this image placed on each webpage. With the use of Bootstrap, you can change the size of those images without spending too much time on the process. Also, you need to reduce the load time of the image loading. With Bootstrap developers’ getting an auto-resizing feature, it will automatically resize the image as predefined by the CSS rules. Along with this, it will also add a new class to your image.

3. Layout Container

Containers in Bootstrap are the building blocks of the layout. They are required when you are trying to create or use a grid system for your web page. A container can be nested, but most of the layouts don’t require you to use a nested container. You get three types of layout in Bootstrap: Bootstrap default, Bootstrap fluid layout, and Bootstrap responsive layout.

4. Consistency

Bootstrap plays a significant role in bringing a designer and a developer together to create something extraordinary.In addition to this, the framework allows consistency in the layout and the development and design of every web page.

Why do you need to look for Bootstrap Alternatives?

  • When you work with Bootstrap, there is a requirement for lots of style overrides. Also, you might have to rewrite tonnes of files in the first place. This results in you spending a lot of time designing the website. All in all, you will deviate from the customary design, which was a part of Bootstrap.
  • You need to think outside the box when creating a website using Bootstrap because all the websites will follow the same framework, and then all of them will look slightly different from each other.
  • The styles present in Bootstrap are more verbose, and they can lead to the output in HTML, which isn’t needed in any way.
  • In Bootstrap, JavaScript is tied to jQuery, and it is also considered the most common library, with most of the plugins unused. Moreover, Bootstrap doesn’t comply with HTML.

10 Top Bootstrap alternatives you should try In 2022

Let’s look at some of the best alternatives you can use instead of Bootstrap and get your work done. These alternatives are lined up based on their features and ease of use. There are tons of other options that are on par, or even better in some cases, than Bootstrap based on their requirements. But it’s up to you to find out which one delivers the best capabilities for your project.

1. Skeleton

We start with “skeleton,” which is a group of a handful of HTML elements that can be used to develop a small-scale web project. Once you start using it, you will see how useful it becomes. It is an assortment of standard CSS records, which can be used to build the base framework of the UI, not the entire structure. That’s why its functionality completely suits its name, Skeleton. It comes with a rundown of inquiries for the accommodation of styling your site on different types of devices. One of the most significant advantages that you get to enjoy with Skeleton is its lightweight framework. The source code for Skeleton is only 200 lines of code.

The most recent update of Skeleton comes with a mobile-first 12-column grid. This makes it one of the best CSS frameworks to work within today’s mobile-centric environment. The Skeleton’s system uses an extra layer of classes, so it becomes easier for you to offset your columns and get more clean space for a better user experience. Skeleton has predefined styling options which developers can choose from when they want. You are allowed to give buttons your own background within the primary button class and more.

Likewise, if you want to float an element on one side of the page, you can use the u-pull-right or u-pull-left class with it. Skeleton, without a doubt, is one of the best Bootstrap alternatives that you can find right now on the market. It is open-source, so you don’t have to pay anything extra to get your hands on its libraries and use them to your advantage.

2. Groundwork

Groundwork is a CSS framework used to create responsive websites and web applications.It is a mix of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript toolkits. The applications designed with Groundwork are flexible, nestable, and come with a fluid grid system. In addition to this, it also supports semantic markup with the help of ARIA attribute selectors. You can use the help of Groundwork to create responsive text such as responsive headings, text blocks, and even responsive tables. The development of Groundwork was done using Sass, which is considered to be a powerful CSS preprocessor.

This preprocessor also makes it possible for the source code to be prefixed with vendor prefixes. You can use rapid prototyping, which is scalable and can turn into a fully functional application if the developer wants it. Besides this, you can make the navigation of your application responsive with the use of Groundwork. The button styles are easy to customise, and without writing down huge lines of code, you can quickly wrap up the contents in a box of any shape and size.

3. Mueller

Muller is a modular-based grid system when it comes to building adaptive and non-responsive layouts for web applications. With the use of Muller, you get complete control of every single column of the webpage, along with the gutter width, baseline grid, and media-queries as well.

It is regarded as a viable alternative to Bootstrap because it implements the Sass and Compass frameworks, which provide a variety of useful frontend framework functionality.As a result, you can make use of the grid function by creating a grid. This also helps in the addition of classes straight into the elements to keep the HTML elements as transparent as possible and neat.

Furthermore, a developer can extend his media grids into predefined layouts. Likewise, the grid system is considered ideal for the creation of adaptive layouts. Lastly, you can even add fractional classes on your grid and even in the layout. The templates can also be added instead of having presentational classes in the markup.

4. Bulma

The Bulma framework is one of the free CSS solutions that is based on Flexbox layout. With the help of Bulma, you get an extensive range of built-in features, which gives you a much faster turnaround while requiring less CSS code. The source code is available for anyone to see and edit according to their needs. This gives Bulma quite a range of functionality, and you can create complex designs with ease.

Apart from this, one of the critical advantages of using Bulma is that it simplifies the coding process. As a result, during its development, the people who were behind the creation of Bulma put ease-of-use as their top priority. In addition to this, Bulma is modular in nature, meaning you can use the specific pieces you want and leave out the rest of it.

Bulma is highly responsive. Thus, you can use it to convert a desktop-based website design into a mobile-friendly UI. Bulma follows a mobile-first CSS framework approach, and this gives it optimum site responsiveness.

5. Cardinal

Cardinal is another small, mobile-first CSS style framework that comes with some of the default styles, scalable typography, and reusable modules, along with a simple responsive grid system. Cardinal actually provides a new approach to scaling web typography and layout over multiple devices. Moreover, it also places a lot more emphasis on pixel precision, but in no way restricts the developer’s usage.

When using Cardinal, the significant advantage that you get is the mobile-first CSS approach. It has sensible global styling variables along with useful mixins. There’s also a collection of utility classes that are greatly optimised for Gzip compression. Everything that you need for this framework comes in at 11.27 KB of file size.

6. Materialize

It is a user interface component library built with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. Materialize was created by Google and is also known as Material Design. The primary goal of Materialize development is to combine classic design principles with innovation and technology. Using this platform, Google attempted to create a unified user experience across all of its products. A developer can create appealing, consistent, and functional web pages while adhering to modern web design principles that are relevant to the project’s requirements.

This is considered to be a standard CSS that comes with a minimal amount of footprint. It has an inbuilt responsive design and is free to use. One thing you need to keep in mind is that it requires the jQuery JavaScript library in order to function correctly. With the use of an inbuilt responsive design mechanism, the website that is developed using Materialize will redesign itself as per the device’s needs. The classes of materialising are developed in such a way that they can easily fit any screen size. It has enhanced features like cards, tabs, navigation bars, toasts, and much more for you to add to your website design.

Moreover, being such a flat and minimal material, it is pretty easy to add new CSS rules, and you can easily overwrite the existing CSS rules if you wish to. Lastly, it comes with the implementation of shadows and bold colours.

7. UI Kit

UIkit is a comprehensive collection of features and components that are a part of HTML, CSS, and JS. It is pretty simple to use and can be customised according to the user’s needs. You can use it to create an entirely new look that completely fits your design specifications. On the other hand, you are still getting a great style right from the very beginning with this framework. As a result, if you want to implement the design of UIkit in your project, you can certainly do it with no problem at all.

We want our readers to know that you are not going to find a vast number of learning resources available to you other than the official documentation. This makes a developer on their own when it comes to solving a problem. It comes with a wide variety of animations, and these animations can work across multiple browsers with no issues or glitches to be found. Furthermore, all the dependencies are part of the distribution, and you also need to know how to work with JQuery, which is an embedded part of the UIkit.

8. Luxa CSS

Luxa is considered to be a simple and result-driven CSS framework that provides lightweight solutions for your web development that can be easily implemented. The syntax of Luxa CSS is pretty easy to remember, and in no time, you will become a master of it. The main goal behind the development of Luxa CSS is to give developers a lightweight solution that can be implemented with ease in the development context. Also, you don’t need to take a course or watch online videos to see how to get your way around the syntax of Luxa CSS. because the code is simple and it comes totally free of cost.

As a result, you are free to do whatever you want and make your design stand out from the rest of the competition by using Luxa. So, if you want to use a CSS framework for a minimal-looking project with a light user interface and design, Luxa is the best CSS option for you to try.

9. Foundation

As of now, Foundation is considered the most responsive frontend framework that you can use in your project. It can quickly provide you with the framework of prototypes along with the production code, which can work on any device with no bugs and errors. The Foundation is more like a family of frameworks than a single framework. The Foundation is also one of the most comprehensive front-end frameworks for you to take advantage of in your projects. It is pretty thorough when we compare it to Bootstrap.

Everything you need to create and set up a website or an application is available in the foundation framework. As a result, you don’t need to add in more libraries to get the work done. You can also use professional training and certification to learn all the different techniques that can be implemented when creating a website framework using Foundation.

10. Cirrus

Last on our list of best alternatives to Bootstrap is Cirrus, which is pretty responsive and a comprehensive CSS-only framework with a beautiful UI and simple controls to use. In addition to this, you can quickly integrate Cirrus into your existing designs to continue working on your project with ease. There are two packages available for you to use. The first is the “core” package, which comes with simple styling and easy-to-deploy functionality. Then Cirrus provides an “ext” package, which is an extension of a core with the addition of a subset of components for quick prototyping. But there are no JavaScript plugins available for you to work with.

If you are someone who loves using Bootstrap JavaScript plugins, then it is better to steer clear of Cirrus and look for the other options that we have provided in our list. Lastly, it is an open-source, free-to-use CSS framework for both personal and commercial web-based projects.

Wrapping Up

Bootstrap has its own pros and cons, and the same goes for all the ten alternatives which we have shown you in this article. In the end, it all depends on how you want to use the framework and to what extent in your project. If you are a small business and are looking to save on the cost, going with the framework is the best way to save both money and time. In addition to this, these frameworks are also helpful for freelancers who want to finish up their work as soon as possible and start the next project.

Before you make your decision, we would like you to read this article and understand the benefits of each of the following bootstrap alternatives. You should also compare them with your needs and see which one aligns with them in a much better way.

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